[Watch] Birthday Special: When R Ashwin Ended Tim Paine's Career
Tim Paine and R Ashwin during Sydney Test | Source: Twi
Today, on September 17, India's star all-rounder, Ravichandran Ashwin, turns 37. He is not just a cricket wizard but also known as the ‘Sherlock Holmes of the Cricketing World’, thanks to his incredible game sense and analysis.
Ashwin’s on-field escapades have often stolen the spotlight, and one such unforgettable moment happened during India's tour of Australia back in 2021 when he closed the chapter of then Australia captain Tim Paine.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 in Australia stands out as an iconic chapter in Indian cricket history. India, without some of their star players, bounced back in spectacular fashion after the '36 all out' debacle in Adelaide, pulling off one of the most unforgettable comebacks.
What followed was nothing short of a fairytale, with India clawing their way back into the series, drawing level at 1-1 in Melbourne. Then, in the third Test at Sydney, cricket genius R Ashwin and Hanuman Vihari executed a jaw-dropping heist to secure a thrilling draw.
The duo put on sheer guts as they faced the relentless Australian bowling attack to salvage the third Test, chasing an mammoth 407-run target. When the Australian bowlers could not break their resolve, Captain Tim Paine decided to take matters into his own hands, trying to unsettle Ashwin from behind the stumps. Little did he know, those words would become something he would regret.
R Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari | Source: Twitter
It all started with Paine saying:
"I can't wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash, I'll tell you what, woohoo (incessant laughter)."
To this Ashwin immediately replied:
“Just like we want to get you to India, that will be your last series.”
Paine then replied back with:
“Maybe. Are you a selector here as well? “At least my teammates like me, dickhead. I’ve got a lot more Indian friends than you do. Even your teammates think you’re a goose. Don’t they? Every one of them.”
Ashwin then pulled out of the next delivery and curtly told Paine:
"Tell me when you’re done.”
To which Paine replied:
“I’ll talk all day mate. Wait until you get to the Gabba, pal.”
What Ashwin fired back, though, turned out to be more than just words – it was like the final nail in the coffin as the India all-rounder sealed Paine's fate right then and there as the former Australia captain never even got a chance to set foot in India, a place Ashwin confidently asserted would mark the end of Paine's career.
After all those taunts he was dishing out from behind the stumps, Paine could not even manage to do the keeper's job right as he dropped Vihari's catch from Mitchell Starc's delivery in the final hour of the match, which turned out to be the biggest mistake of him as Ashwin and Vihari refused to surrender.
The dynamic duo went on to craft an unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 62 runs from a mind-boggling 258 deliveries — the marathon stint, which wore down the Australian bowlers and saw India pull off an epic draw.